Its Halloween, and if there’s one thing we associate with Halloween it’s horror movies. We’ve been living in a pretty great time for horror films recently, and as this is the final halloween season of the decade I’ve decided to look over the best horror films from the 2010s. For this list I’m picking my favourite horror movie from every year of the decade.
2010 – Black Swan – Whilst it isn’t a traditional horror film we kick of the decade with Darren Aronofsky’s nightmarish psychological horror take on a production of Swan Lake. Natalie Portman is exceptional as the ballet dancer playing the part of both the White and Black Swan who under the pressure of being perfect in both roles slowly begins to lose her grip on reality and we become unsure of what is real and what isn’t. Black Swan is certain Aronofsky at his absolute best in the horror genre, and I’d be down for more films like this, rather than the more recent mother!.
2011 – Fright Night – For pure fun it can be hard to top the 2011 remake of Fright Night. Whilst it may not be the scariest film in the world, its campy over the top energy is great. Colin Farrell as vampire Jerry is deliciously over the top, but nothing compared to David Tennant as celebrity magician Peter Vincent who looks like he’s having the best time in the world in such a ridiculous role.
2012 – The Cabin In The Woods – There are a lot of stupid tropes in horror films, and they were ripe for a good and well made take down of some kind. That take down was Cabin In The Woods. You might think a film that offers explanations of horror tropes would be awful, but it is testament to Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon that instead this was one of the smartest and funniest films of the decade. Oh and the carnage the film descends into during the finale is truly glorious.
2013 – Evil Dead – This May seem like a little bit of a strange choice, but I really wanted to talk about it because this is a good example of how to do a remake. Obviously it doesn’t touch the original Evil Dead films, but it also doesn’t try and recapture Sam Raimi’s unique tone of schlocky horror comedy. Instead it takes the premise and forges its own path, buckets of gore. I think it is fair to say that Evil Dead may be the weakest film on this list, but I am a big fan of how it reinvented a classic as Hollywood seems want to do.
2014 – The Babadook – Sorry It Follows, but 2014 has to be the year of everyone’s favourite gay icon, The Babadook. Jennifer Kent’s film doesn’t rely on jump scares, which was certainly the big flavour with films like Insidious or The Conjuring, instead this is a genuinely scary film with one of the great modern horror monsters. But more than that this is a genuinely powerful film about grief, and almost a cathartic experience in the end as the characters come to terms with their grief and learn to live with it.
2015 – The Witch – Both filmmaker Robert Eggers and actress Anya Taylor-Joy burst onto the scene with 2015’s The Witch (or The VVitch). 1630s New England certainly isn’t the most typical setting for a horror film, and that is what I have loved about Eggers work to date, his willingness to push boundaries and creating truly original films. As with most of the films on this list The Witch is a film that is driven by the tone and atmosphere rather than jump scares, and Eggers proves himself to be an absolute master behind the camera.
2016 – Raw – For those who haven’t seen Julia Ducournau’s incredible French cannibal film Raw then I highly recommend it. You may end up hating it, because it is extremely graphic, but for those who can stomach it then it is one of the most rewarding horror films of the decade. Rich in symbolism around the lead character Justine’s burgeoning sexuality, Raw is the kind of film that will have you thinking about it long after you’ve seen in, for more reasons than just the graphic horror.
2017 – Get Out – Jordan Peele was mostly known for sketch comedy before he stepped into the world of horror with Get Out. And it was a genius move to make that genre shift. As creepy and genuinely scary as Get Out is, it is the social commentary on race that Peele weaves throughout the film that took it to another level and made it a major Oscar contender. Peele’s script is so well written, and the performances from Bradley Whitford, Catherine Keener, and Caleb Landry Jones create such an uneasy atmosphere, whilst Daniel Kaluuya is a protagonist you really want to root for.
2018 – Hereditary – There was a lot of great horror films in 2018, and it would have been really hard to pick a favourite had it not been for Ari Aster’s debut Hereditary. This was a masterpiece in slow suspenseful tension building until it explodes in glorious chaos. But without Aster creating that atmosphere it could almost have played as a family drama until that big switch, and that is the genius of the film. The performances are also incredible, particularly from Toni Collette who was robbed of an Oscar nomination. If you haven’t seen Hereditary then it is the one on this list that I believe you should.
2019 – The Lighthouse – I had actually prepared to write about Ready Or Not for this year, but then I saw Robert Eggers new film The Lighthouse recently, and it has jumped to the top of the list for 2019 horror films. Starring Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe as lighthouse keepers stranded on an isolated island as they slowly descend into madness from the loneliness. The film is beautiful, insane, funny, and an absolute joy. Eggers proved he’s one of the most daring voices working in horror as I had never seen anything like The Lighthouse and would highly recommend it when it does have its general release.